(NEW YORK ) — Bill O’Reilly is leaving Fox News Channel, the network’s parent company has said.
The star host has been dogged by misconduct claims — some sexual in nature — since an April 1 story in The New York Times detailed alleged settlements made between the host and five women who accused him of harassment and sexual misconduct.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement on Wednesday.
Scores of advertisers pulled their spots from his show in the days following the Times‘ story.
ABC News has not been able to independently verify claims made in the Times story.
After the Times investigation, O’Reilly wrote on his website that “like other prominent and controversial people,” he is “vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.”
O’Reilly also wrote that the time that he was “a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way” and therefore he had to “put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”
The host is on vacation in Italy, where Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed to ABC News that he met with Pope Francis Wednesday. O’Reilly was due back on the air Monday.
Not a even a vote of confidence from the president could save O’Reilly’s job.
Sitting in the Oval Office on April 5, President Donald Trump told the New York Times that O’Reilly was “a person I know well” and “a good person,” and that he didn’t think “Bill did anything wrong.”
O’Reilly is not the first high-ranking Fox News employee to exit the network amid sexual misconduct claims.
Last summer, network chief Roger Ailes was pressured into resigning amid similar claims.
Ailes has denied wrongdoing.
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